Safety, Safety, Standards & Regulation, Workforce

Rail prepares for R U Ok Day on April 29

The challenges of global pandemic make this special day for the rail sector all the more relevant.

ENCOURAGING conversations between rail staff is the aim of the annual R U OK? Day, an initiative of the TrackSAFE Foundation and R U OK.

The event, held on April 29, dates back to 2014.

TrackSAFE strives to reduce suicide, trespass, and level crossing incidents on the rail network while offering best practice trauma support to rail employees.

R U OK? is a national not-for-profit organisation dedicated to empowering everyone to meaningfully connect, ask “are you OK?” and lend support to those around them.

According to organisers, since the first Rail R U OK?Day in 2015, participation has grown from just under to 7,000, to more than 90,000 expected participants this year.

The rail sector is the only industry to have its own dedicated R U OK?Day, and the event has grown year on year.

TrackSafe Foundation executive director Heather Neil said the timing of this year’s event was particularly relevant.

“Following the challenges of the last 12 months, there’s never been a more important time to connect and regularly check-in with those around us,” Neil said.

“The TrackSAFE Foundation encourages rail employees to support and engage with one another, and during our busy working days, take the time to listen to one another.”

RUOK CEO Katherine Newton said their partnership with TrackSAFE is one of which they were “extremely proud of” and an example of an entire industry authentically championing the R U OK? message.

“Often, the best people to spot the signs someone might be struggling, are the people closest to them who can spot changes in routines and behaviours,” Newton said.

“That’s why the R U OK? message is so effective in the workplace. It’s the subtle changes in someone’s behaviour that can indicate they might be going through a difficult time.”

She said that seeing the increased participation in Rail R U OK?Day was heartening.

“Rail employees from across Australia and New Zealand are transforming their workplaces into supportive and connected environments every day of the year,” she said.

2021 key details

  • More than 100 organisations working in rail have now registered to participate in this year’s Rail R U OK?Day, to be held on Thursday 29 April 2021.
  • The day will see 90,000 employees, representing all parts of the rail supply chain connect with their colleagues, asking the very important question, “Are you OK?”.
  • Beyond the day itself, Rail R U OK? provides individuals in the rail sector with the tools and confidence to check-in year round and have an ongoing conversation with someone at work who might be struggling.


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